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“Truth as we know it is over.” ‘Civil War’ describes how it could really happen here.




“Truth as we know it is over.”  'Civil War' describes how it could really happen here.

The biggest film in the country right now is about a civil war – in America.

If you see the movie “Civil War” in a theater in downtown Washington, the scenes of the Lincoln Memorial explosion and the attack on the White House are shocking as you take to the DC skies.

The film is writer and director Alex Garland’s very brazen attempt to imagine the unimaginable in America – an authoritarian leader in the White House, intractable political differences resolved through violence and the very specific horrors of modern warfare – urban fighting , refugee camps, mass atrocities, the collapse of the currency – all things that we associate with things that can happen there in the United States.

‘Civil War’ is also a film about journalism.

It follows four reporters as they travel from New York to Washington, DC, via a circuitous route through Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.

The film tackles many of the important issues we talk about on shows like this: media ethics, political polarization, misinformation polluting our media ecosystem, and the potential threat of an autocratic leader.

Wagner Moura plays a hardened war correspondent addicted to the battlefield. He also brings some much-needed levity to the film.

Moura is best known for his role as Pablo Escobar in ‘Narcos’. But he is also a former journalist, political activist and writer and director himself. His 2019 film “Marighella,” about the coup and counter-revolution in Brazil in the 1960s, angered then-President Jair Bolsonaro in Moura’s home country of Brazil.

Deep Dive host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza spoke with Moura on Thursday, just as Washington’s annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner festivities were getting underway. It’s the time of year when the relationship between journalists, politicians and Hollywood is at its peak in this city.

They had a fascinating conversation about how making a film about a new civil war changed Moura’s own personal thinking about politics, how his experience with Bolsonaro in Brazil is a warning to Americans, and the role of art in politics.